Boarding and day

Pupils in the Prep School can board from Year 4 in our dedicated house, Catteral, for young boarders in Year 4 to Year 8.

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At Giggleswick, boarding life is an enriching and rewarding experience, providing pupils with extra time and space to explore the amazing range of activities available at the school and to grow as an individual. We believe boarding helps develop considerate, responsible and independent young people, by living together in a supportive, fun and family-friendly environment. 

Pupils can board from Year 4 (age 8) with a dedicated House (Catteral) for our young boarders from Year 4 to Year 8. Catteral shares the pastoral and academic ethos of the other senior Houses, but addresses the needs of younger children with appropriate activities and levels of supervision. In each House there is a well-balanced mix of full boarders, flexi boarders and day pupils across all ages, with a selection of international pupils in each House.

Our extended school day during the week and full day of school on Saturday for all Senior School pupils means that our boarders enjoy a structured timetable of activities and are never left on their own. Even on a Sunday there are activities and trips to enjoy as well as time for some important rest and relaxation. 

There are usually two Exeat weekends per term when school finishes at 13.00 on Friday and restarts at 21:00 on Sunday. Whilst most pupils either go home or stay with guardians or friends over exeat weekends, it is possible for pupils to stay in school if necessary.

The importance of continuity

This important sense of continuity that our youngest boarders gain from progressing seamlessly through from prep to senior school and ultimately sixth form is key to their wellbeing and personal development. This is true for all boarders but particularly for those from forces backgrounds that might otherwise experience considerable change in their lives. Some children of forces parents may otherwise attend more than six different schools during these formative years. It also helps our international boarders, many of whom are a long way from home.

Headmaster Sam Hart explains:

“Creating a safe, secure and stable home from home environment all the way from Year 4 through to 8 provides our youngest boarders with continuity that really supports them through the time when they transition from the Prep School at Year 6 to the Senior School in Year 7. They are already familiar with their surroundings, routines, expectations and the key people in their lives, helping to make this adjustment naturally seamless and smooth. We work really hard to build a wonderful family-friendly feeling here at Giggleswick and we love to see our boarders and other pupils develop through their school years here, leaving us as well-equipped, resilient, assured and happy young people.”

Christine Gemmell, former housemistress of Catteral House adds:

“We focus here at Catteral House on building really good relationships with all the children and supporting them in every aspect of their lives as part of one big extended family. This creates a very solid foundation and helps them make and keep friends through sharing experiences together. It really gives them the very best start as they progress towards our senior boarding houses, sixth form and eventually life beyond Giggleswick.”


To help our locally based day pupils and flexi boarders, we provide a daily return bus service on eight routes, covering up to a 50-minute drive-time radius of the school. The routes include Levens via Kirkby Lonsdale, Grassington, Skipton, Ilkley, Foulridge via Colne, Clitheroe, Wray and Menwith Hill. We also provide a bus to York for exeats and half terms.

Click here to view the timetable for a typical day

Bus routes